French Fries

Two summers ago, I went with my husband on a work trip.  I had the boys and no car, so we walked from the hotel to the closest burger joint.  It was a place I’d never heard of, but it was close and I was starving.  I had no idea that walking through that door would change my life.  Eating here ruined me for fast food burgers and fries.  Much to my dismay (but good for my pants size), the closest one of these to my home is 3 hours away.  So, I had a dilemma.  I craved those fries.  I wanted them so badly so often that I honestly, more than once, considered loading up the kids and driving a 6 hour round trip just so I could get them. I opted for the more practical solution.  I figured out a way to make fries a home that were just as good (or at least really, really close).  Sure there are several steps and they take some time, but it is still less than 6 hours and considerably less trouble than driving 6 hours with my kids.

Start by mixing up some salt water and have it waiting.  Wash and peel two large russet potatoes.  Slice them into thin fries, trying to get them all close to the same size.

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Put your cut fries into the salt water, add enough cold water to completely cover all the potatoes, and let them soak for an hour or two.  When you take them out, they’ll be slightly soft and already tasty.  Don’t rinse them, but do pat them dry while your oil is heating.  Only heat your oil to 300*.  You’re going to fry these twice.  For the first fry, fry small batches at 300* for 2-3 minutes.  Fries should be soft and pliable and bend when you pick them up.

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Fries can sit this way, covered and refrigerated, until just before you are ready to serve.  You can also freeze them to use on a different day.  When you’re ready to eat them, heat your oil to 350* and fry 3-5 minutes or until crispy and golden brown.  While still hot, sprinkle liberally with your favorite season salt. This is the only picture of these because they never made it to a plate.

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Recipe:

2 Tablespoons salt

2 cups hot water

2 large russet potatoes

Cold water to cover

Oil for frying

Seasoned salt

Mix together salt and hot water and set aside.

Wash and peel potatoes.  Slice into several 1/4″ slices (or thinner if you like).  Turn slices flat and cut fries 1/4″ wide.  Place cup fries into salt water and add enough cold water to cover all the fries.  Let soak for 1-2 hours.

Heat 2″ of oil in a heavy pan to 300* (or use a deep fryer if you have one).

While oil is heating, remove cut fries from saltwater and pat dry.  Fry in small batches for 2-3 minutes or until potatoes are tender but not colored.  Drain.

Turn heat up and let oil heat to 350*.  Fry a second time for 4-5 minutes or until golden brown and crisp.  Drain.  Season with seasoned salt while hot.

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